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Old 05-17-2012, 08:15 AM
 
Location: On The Road Full Time RVing
2,342 posts, read 2,907,851 times
Reputation: 2224

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If I rent one of those safe deposit boxes in a bank,
and put things of value ( gold, silver, diamonds, jewelry, ect. )
and even money in it, is it held in private or can someone in the bank
( including the government ) have the right to open it,
and find out the continence ?

Is it really safe and private?

About how much do these boxes cost to rent,
and for how long at a time ?
.
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Old 05-17-2012, 08:21 AM
 
126 posts, read 357,378 times
Reputation: 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by bumpus7 View Post
.
If I rent one of those safe deposit boxes in a bank,
and put things of value ( gold, silver, diamonds, jewelry, ect. )
and even money in it, is it held in private or can someone in the bank
( including the government ) have the right to open it,
and find out the continence ?

Is it really safe and private?

About how much do these boxes cost to rent,
and for how long at a time ?
.
Box contents can be subject to search warrant. Don't keep your drugs in a safety deposit box. Also don't keep the weapon you killed someone with there, either.
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Old 05-17-2012, 08:24 AM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,346 posts, read 82,960,082 times
Reputation: 17508
Also, get a higher box in case there is a flood and, it's easier on your back rather than bending down.
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Old 05-17-2012, 08:33 AM
 
9,676 posts, read 15,849,412 times
Reputation: 16013
There's two keys required to open the box, yours and the bank's. If you lose your key, the bank uses their key and drills open your lock in the presence of various witnesses, including you or your representative. There's a big fee for this, they charged my mother $200, so don't lose that key!

Also, if you want someone else to have access to the box, get them a key and fill out forms they have access to the box. Of course, they then have legal right to take anything out of the box. When my mother died, I was joint on her deposit box, I simply went in and removed everything, no hassles, no waiting for probate. Of course, it depends on how well you trust your relatives!

Also, my mother made me joint on her checking account, and POD---payable on Death---on her savings. When she died, I just started writin checks on her accountfor things like funeral, medical, etc. Oh, and also I was authorized to enter her apt and collect items, which made it easier to get her stuff out. With all the safeguards in place, we never had to bother with a probated will, which is expensive and time consuming. I was the only relative, anyways.
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Old 05-17-2012, 08:35 AM
 
9,676 posts, read 15,849,412 times
Reputation: 16013
Quote:
Originally Posted by bumpus7 View Post
.
If I rent one of those safe deposit boxes in a bank,
and put things of value ( gold, silver, diamonds, jewelry, ect. )
and even money in it, is it held in private or can someone in the bank
( including the government ) have the right to open it,
and find out the continence ?

Is it really safe and private?

About how much do these boxes cost to rent,
and for how long at a time ?
.

You might "fish" for information by calling a bank you would never deal with, such as in another city, and ask such questions, try to see what is standard for banks and what is just for that branch. Get some general free advice.
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Old 05-17-2012, 08:38 AM
 
590 posts, read 2,083,260 times
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The only way the box can be opened is if you are present OR if a search warrant is obtained. If a search warrant is obtained they can order you to provide the key or they will have to drill the lock.

There are 2 locks on each safe deposit box. One that the bank has, and one that only you have.

Safe boxes are usually rented for one year and the cost can vary depending on the bank, but the range is roughly $20-45 for a 3x10 box. Banks offer several different sizes, 3x5 is the smallest and they can go up past 10x10. Boxes are usually 24" deep. The advantage of the 3x10 is that documents can lay flat without being folded.

When you want to access the contents of the box, the policies are generally similar between banks. However, some banks are more convenient than others. Some banks will always require you to sign into a computer or receptionist as if you are opening a new account.. while others you can just go stand by the vault and they let you in bypassing the normal teller line or account services line. Often photo ID is needed but if the people at the bank know you they may never ask.

I like using a safe deposit box for "off site storage". That way if my home is burglarized or damaged by fire....

If it recommended that you do not keep original documents in your box like a will, unless the person that needs the will has access to the box.

I suggest calling area banks and asking if they have safe deposit boxes, and if they do, what is the cost and availability. I would not assume all banks have safe deposit boxes that are available. Often there are waiting lists. It just depends on where you live.
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Old 05-17-2012, 09:56 AM
 
11,929 posts, read 20,372,953 times
Reputation: 19326
Great post MD -- the only thing I would want to add is that safety deposit boxes are also escheated to the state after your states time limits with no activity.

As MD said, often there are waiting lists for boxes and if you haven't been in for three years, and we've had no contact with you and you aren't answering our letters -- we assigned a "drill baby drill" day and we sent that stuff on.

IN all the the years I worked in a bank, escheatment only happened once. We not only shipped the state the stuff in the box, we sent the state a nice fat check from the person's savings account.
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Old 05-17-2012, 02:54 PM
 
4,919 posts, read 19,844,589 times
Reputation: 6215
There are also some private safe deposit box repositories. They operate like a bank but are outside the banking regulations. They can offer anything from the traditional safety deposit box, all the way to individual vaults. Since their entire business is based on those boxes, they can offer services, confidentiality, and security at a level most banks can not. I have seen one level of service they offer is the ability to transfer the entire physical box to another of their location if you relocate. No need for yuo to close, empty transport and reopen a box elsewher, they ship it intact to the new office.
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Old 05-17-2012, 03:04 PM
 
2,779 posts, read 4,665,520 times
Reputation: 5034
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaryleeII View Post

Also, if you want someone else to have access to the box, get them a key and fill out forms they have access to the box. Of course, they then have legal right to take anything out of the box. When my mother died, I was joint on her deposit box, I simply went in and removed everything, no hassles, no waiting for probate. Of course, it depends on how well you trust your relatives!
This is really important. I know someone who's parents put all of their important documents in their safety deposit box and when they died it was a mess for the kids to get it access to it.
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Old 05-17-2012, 03:39 PM
 
Location: San Antonio/Houston
37,949 posts, read 55,692,297 times
Reputation: 89597
The only really private safe is located in your own home.
Buy a high quality security safe, and bolt it down.

If a local, state or federal law enforcement agency persuades the appropriate court that there is "reasonable cause" to suspect you're hiding something illegal in your safe deposit box (guns, drugs, explosives, stolen cash or money obtained illegally), it can obtain a court order, force the safe deposit box open and seize the contents. What about non-criminal matters, such as a dispute with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), a company, or other people over money they say you owe?
The IRS can "freeze" your assets (effectively placing a hold on your bank accounts and safe deposit box) until the dispute is resolved. Private parties also can freeze your assets but doing so involves going before a judge and proving that there is a legitimate dispute over a debt.
Safe deposit is a storage space provided by the bank.
FDIC insurance does NOT cover the contents of safe deposit boxes if they are damaged or stolen.
The FDIC only insures deposits in deposit accounts at insured institutions.

Not to forget that your bank is not open 24/7 and you might need to access your stuff just exactly when is closed.
You have to pay annual fees.
Things like will, passport, cash, guns you need to store at home anyway...
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Last edited by elnina; 05-17-2012 at 05:37 PM..
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